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Big Brother Is Watching You By George Orwell And 1984 By Ray Bradburry

2378 words - 10 pages

Since the beginning of time man has tried to build vast empires to control the globe. Manifest Destiny has been sown into our human nature creating in us the desire to conquer. In the United States, we are accustomed to a safe democratic government where everyone has freedoms and a voice, but what if it all changed? What would it even look like for America to be stripped of all our freedoms, rights, and liberties? We think this is crazy and could never happen, but George Orwell illustrates through 1984 and Ray Bradbury shows with Fahrenheit 451 the possible dangers of complete government control. Even though their exaggerated societies seem farfetched, many of their fictional governmental qualities are starting to line up with our government today. If we do not take proactive measures we could be under the same amount of control before you know it.
Throughout the novel 1984 the totalitarian government, called Big Brother, is constantly attacking the people psychologically. One of the first things that strikes protagonist Winston Smith is a poster in the street reading “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (Orwell 5). From the very beginning of the book, the government is already shoving fear down on top of the citizens of Oceana. This threat is not all bark either, but all citizens are being monitored constantly by cameras and microphones everywhere. In every single room there is a “telescreen” with propaganda about how great the country is. Nazi Propaganda leader Minister Joseph Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." And that is exactly what Big Brother does. They have complete divisions set apart to change the history of the country to make it sound like they are doing great. The people who remembered the truth (like Winston) are considered rebels of the state and are to be “vaporized” (Orwell 51). It was not enough just for the people to go along with the lies that they are saying, but Big Brother wants them to truly believe them. The Ministry of Truth alters past events for the purpose of exalting Big Brother. The party preys on the fear of its people from which it derives its power. In her article “The ‘Newspeak’ of our time,” Harriet Malinowitz points out that because of this fear, it was impossible to rebel against the party “which controlled the citizens of Oceania with systematic disinformation, unremitting surveillance, and the pervasive threat of violence and imprisonment” (Malinowitz). Another tool in the arsenal of Big Brother is its ability to make any laws, unchecked by the people. From writing a diary, to loving someone, to even being outside after dark, the party considers all of these threats to the empire, so they deem them illegal. Anything that holds “any political or ideological significance” (Orwell 36) is banned. What is even worse than “crimes” is “thought crime” (Orwell 74). Thought crimes have no written constitution but are perspective to whoever is in...

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